Your Roadmap to Language Success: The One-Page Language Plan

It’s that time of year again: Making New Year’s resolutions.

This year I’m excited to offer something I really believe will help anyone looking to make serious improvement:

The One-Page Language Plan

A lot of people trying to achieve goals–in business, fitness, language, whatever–don’t have any kind of written plan. I think that’s a mistake, because putting stuff in writing really helps focus your efforts.

And a common reason why people don’t bother to put ideas on paper? They’re so overwhelmed at the thought of creating a long, complicated document that they don’t even try.

But a plan put down on paper doesn’t have to be long to be useful.

In fact, a short document that you can easily create and reference forces you to identify what is important about what you need to be doing.

I’ve put together a document that you can print out and then fill in. You can access the PDF at this link: One-Page Language Plan.

Here’s an example I’ve filled in:


Takes five minutes, tops, to fill in the form. I recommend doing one for each language you’re learning.

Is this plan comprehensive? Does it flesh out all the details of what I’ll be doing in the coming year? Naw, not at all.

But that’s not what this is for. Filling out the template forced me to take a few minutes to examine where I’m at, what’s most important about what I’m doing, and what I need to be doing in the coming year.

I can use this info to see what I need to give more thought to. For instance, maybe I should be finding a few more materials, or maybe my goal of “conversational ease” is a little vague, so I need to give it more thought.

If you’re looking for ideas to fill in that strategies spot, check out:

Happy New Year!

  • Roman Shinkarenko

    I’m afraid to write down my goals because it’s very easy to miss them in the deadline, and I (being an easily excitable creature) tend to get disappointed and discouraged from working further.

    • Kerstin

      I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and this is something that really struck me – they can be scary! Have you tried something like setting yourself an easy study goal (“review 20 words”) or actions like going to a class? The key could be to control your actions, not your results.

  • Bryan

    This is a good idea. I think I’ll give it a try on my modest German goals for this year. Glad to see you back posting too! :)

    • Ron G.

      Thanks, Bryan! Gonna make some slight changes in the type of posts on the site, since the previous style had become too overwhelming. Interesting to see how things go.

      Best of luck on your German. Where are you at with that right now?

      • Bryan

        Probably still A0 in German. I’ve completed Paul Noble’s German course and I’m working through Pimsleur during my commutes. I think I feel comfortable doing simple things like ordering a beer or asking the time, etc. The genders and cases are still a bit fuzzy. I’d like to be a solid A1, low A2 by years end.

        The hard part is balancing German with Spanish. I’m trying to make a hard push this year for getting my Spanish listening and speaking up to B2. They’ve been hanging around B1 for a long time. So, I’m spending a lot of time watching trashy (but fun) shows on Telemundo and speaking to anyone that will listen :)

  • Chiara Grandola

    This is brilliant, thanks Ron! I’m gonna use it with French and Japanese.

    • Natalie

      Chiara, I wish you would blog more because I love your blog! :)

      • Chiara Grandola

        Natalie, you’re too nice! But you’re also right: I definitely should!

        Your comment inspired me to share a new blog post today so thank you. Encouraging comments like yours are what makes me go back to blogging every time! :)

  • Natalie

    I need to improve my spoken Russian. I know you probably think I’m decent at it already, but I met some Russian people in December and was appalled at how much I’ve forgotten, so I really need to work on that this year. Best of luck with your Tagalog!

    • Ron G.

      Thanks, Natalie!

      I know how easy it is to fall out of practice. I bet you (with your extensive background in the language) could get a lot out of focusing on a communicative approach for a while–Benny Lewis/FI3M style.

      All my speaking is rusty right now. It’s tough balancing so many languages. I would love to learn Portuguese and French, but I’m having trouble keeping up with what I do have.

  • Kerstin

    What a great tool, thanks for sharing. I love that you made a space for considering budget alongside the usual plans, it makes a big difference when this is considered realistically from the start.

  • Katherine Anderson

    What an awesome worksheet! Thank you for sharing this :) I’m going to use it with my languages this year.